Paradise Retreats offers unsurpassed service to Guests and Owners of the vacation homes we represent. Our properties are beautiful and well-maintained, and have all the amenities you would expect in a luxury home.
We specialize in satisfying the needs of the discriminating customer, who expects the best in service and quality. Each of our properties offers a unique and special experience.
Please contact us with any questions or inquiries.
Theo Kracke - President
Theo Kracke founded Paradise Retreats in 2006. Using the business philosophies of Integrity, Innovation, and Value, Paradise Retreats has grown to become the leader in luxury vacation rental management in Santa Barbara County. Theo has been a resident of Santa Barbara since 1981, when he entered UC Santa Barbara. After graduating with an Honors degree in Business Economics, he founded Techstyles Sportswear in his garage in Goleta. Techstyles became a leader in the resort apparel industry, consistently shipping 80,000+ garments each month to tourist resort destinations around the country. In 2004, Theo sold Techstyles and began exploring new entrepreneurial opportunities.
In 2006, it was obvious to Theo that Santa Barbara needed a vacation rental management company that applied proven business principles to their operations. With the experience gained from his prior business, he built a company that achieves that goal.
Theo has recruited a team of competent professionals in every aspect of property management. From Property Administration, Guest Relations, Property Services, and Accounting, a loyal and hard-working staff are striving to maximize the success of every property. This is achieved while also providing excellent customer service to our valued Guests.
Theo, his wife, and their 2 children aim to enjoy the best that Santa Barbara offers. Whether surfing from his parcel on the Hollister Ranch, regularly hiking the mountain trails of Montecito, exploring the Channel Islands on his boat, or just enjoying downtown activities with the kids, a philosophy of "work to live" permeates Theo's lifestyle.
"I appreciate the beauty, sophistication, and creativity of the Santa Barbara community. Everyone I know is committed to a balanced life of professional work satisfaction, health, and happiness. I strive to create a company which reflects those values."
John McWhirter - Property Administration Manager
With a background in Real Estate and Property Management, John is a perfect fit for the Paradise Retreats' team. With a positive and energetic attitude, he looks forward to conquering challenges each day.
Originally hired as a Property Inspector in 2014, it quickly became apparent that John would be an important asset in the office. It has always been John's desire to be a part of a fun and growing company, and it shows with his versatility, and enthusiasm for his job.
"I can't wait to see what we do next! It's amazing to be part of a team that works really hard, and hungers to be the best at what we do."
John's family has been in the Santa Barbara area for many generations, going back to the early 1900's, and he is proud to call this special area home. John's interests are sports and technology. He is a musician at heart, and has played in bands (and in churches) throughout Santa Barbara County.
"My wife and I love being a part of this community. It is great to share it with so many people from different places all around the world!"
Suzanne Dahl - Guest Relations Manager
Suzy has been with Paradise Retreats since June, 2010. With a growing company, Theo found the need to have a full-time manager who could learn quickly and handle a busy office with ease. Suzy was the perfect fit! With her quick wit, kind demeanor, and clever problem solving skills, she is a hard working team player and friendly presence in the office each day.
Suzy loves to play tennis, hike and water ski. She has coached high school tennis and been involved in many fundraising and charitable events. Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Suzy and husband Steve have raised two children, and her dog Zena visits the office now and then!
According to Suzy, "It's rewarding to know I have been integral in helping someone plan a perfect vacation. I am also fortunate to work with a great team of people who are all committed to doing their best."
Nate Nienhuis - Accounting Manager
Originally from Grand Rapids Michigan, Nate graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Azusa Pacific University in May 2012 and immediately came to work for Paradise Retreats.
As the Accounting Manager, Nate understands the importance of detail and loves to continually learn to help improve the company. He is a hard worker with an upbeat and enthusiastic approach to each day. Nate attributes his drive and motivation to his experience as a college athlete.
He loves the city of Santa Barbara, and especially appreciates the beauty of the properties he helps to manage.
In his free time, Nate enjoys spending time with his wife. Together, they share a love of soccer, surfing, and spending time with their families.
When it comes to his job at Paradise Retreats, Nate's greatest satisfaction is when a guest has a "hassle-free" vacation, and departs Santa Barbara feeling happier than when they arrived.
Joseph Bounds - Property Services Manager
Joseph joined the Paradise Retreats team in the Summer of 2015, bringing a wealth of knowledge to his position.
He is no stranger to the rigors of management in a fast-paced company. As a General Manager, Operations Manager, and Sales Manager in the Fitness Industry, Joseph has a vast background to draw from as our Property Services Manager. He is fully versed in impeccable customer service, and is a strong and clear communicator.
Having worked in construction, Joseph is a "hands-on guy". He enjoys the satisfaction of taking a project from beginning to end, whether it's building large office infrastructure, or a simple home improvement project!
Family is paramount to Joseph. Along with his wife and 3 children, he makes it a priority to get outside and explore the beauty of the central coast, visiting favorite places like Ellwood Butterfly Preserve, the Natural History Museum, and the Botanic Gardens. With pride, Joseph claims he has hiked every single trail (on and off the map!) in Santa Barbara.
"I am excited to lead a strong Property Services Team at Paradise Retreats. I take great pride in building and maintaining valuable relationships with staff, property owners, and visiting guests. I'm committed to making a positive difference in this fast-growing and fun company!"
Support Team - Property Administration
Linda Sener - Property Administration
Linda has worked for Paradise Retreats since May 2009. Brought on as a part-time office assistant, she quickly found a home working with property owners to assist in the set up of their vacation rentals. Since taking over this role, she has become an expert at helping owners prepare their property for success. She loves the creative aspects of her job as well as the interaction with home owners.
Linda's life outside of the office centers around her family, cooking and writing. She has twin daughters, and a husband with a busy real estate career, which keeps things fun (and crazy at times!).
The favorite part of her job according to Linda?
"I love helping owners transform their private homes into vacation destinations and I am honored to work with an amazing staff of dedicated and hard working people, whom I am blessed to call my friends."
Anne Rhine - Property Administration
Anne has been with Paradise Retreats since January 2012. Prior to coming to Paradise Retreats, Anne was an elementary school substitute teacher.
As Property Administration Assistant, Anne is an integral part of the new property set-up process. She enjoys the variety provided by the special needs of each unique home. Anne's attention to detail guarantees that every property meets the standard of quality expected by our valued Guests.
Anne and her husband have lived in Santa Barbara for over 30 years. They have a son and daughter, along with their "furry" kids; a dog and two cats! In her free time, Anne enjoys volunteering, hiking, biking, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying all there is to enjoy in this beautiful area.
The best part about working at Paradise Retreats? According to Anne, "I enjoy helping to set up a property that is going to become a fabulous vacation destination for people from all over the world. In addition, I get to work with a great team of people who work hard and never fail to make me laugh!"
Kelsey Jones - Property Administration
Kelsey Jones joined the Paradise Retreats team in May of 2015, and has quickly become an integral part of Property Administration Department.
With a degree in Psychology from California State University Channel Islands, Kelsey was seeking a business experience where she could utilize her people skills in a growing company. She brings a fresh attitude and friendly smile to the office each day. Having worked side by side with her parents in managing their own vacation rental, Kelsey understands what guests need and expect, making her a perfect fit for the Property Administration team, helping to prepare homes for the vacation rental market.
Kelsey was born and raised in the Santa Barbara area. She and her husband love anything related to the ocean and spending time with their puppy! She also enjoys cooking, sailing, and spending time with family and friends.
"I feel honored to be a part of such a dynamic team of individuals who work hard and love what they do. It is amazing to see beautiful homes transform into vacation destinations and know I have been an integral part in helping prepare the homes for our guests!"
Scott Gibson - Scott Gibson Photography
Scott is a Santa Barbara based photographer specializing in real estate, portraits, and a wide variety of corporate and commercial projects. He has the #1 postcard company in the area, and his work is proudly displayed on scenic postcards racks throughout Santa Barbara County.
With 22 years of photographic experience, Scott enjoys sharing his wealth of information. He has branched out into teaching workshops for photographers who want to diversify their range of professional photography services.
Over the years, Scott has become a valuable member of the Paradise Retreats team, and his photographs fill the web pages of the Paradise Retreats website. His signature style offers a unique and beautiful visual presentation that has contributed to the great marketing success of Paradise Retreats.
"Working with Paradise Retreats for the past 8 years has been a lot of fun. It is so gratifying to complete a photo shoot at these fabulous locations, and then be able to take a few minutes to relish in the beauty of where are live and work. It's awesome!"
Sheri Mize - Interior Designer and Stager, Sheri Mize Designs
Sheri and her team have been styling and staging Paradise Retreats' properties since 2007. She enhances the appeal of each property with her impeccable style and an attention to detail. Sheri's talent for creating comfortable, harmonious and beautiful spaces perfectly compliments our approach to providing a world class vacation experience to our guests.
Sheri has a background in fashion and merchandising, and a degree in Interior and Exterior Design. A native of Southern California, she has had the pleasure of calling Santa Barbara her home for the last 33 years.
Sheri feels blessed to be working alongside the wonderful team at Paradise Retreats. "It's a joy to work with such a wonderful, supportive and respectful crew. Despite the long hours spent getting just the right shot, each project ends with gratitude and hugs."
Jane Harper has been Sheri's Lead Assistant for 2 years. She has a background in Business Administration and Customer Service as well as the experience of years of international travel. "I never take living in Santa Barbara for granted. To also be surrounded in my work by wonderful people is a gift."
Support Team - Guest Relations
Tera Neumann - Assistant Guest Relations Manager
Tera has been a proud member of the Paradise Retreats team since March 2013. With a degree in Communication and Public Relations, she began her career in the hotel industry, working in Marketing, Events, and Guest Relations.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Tera decided one day that it was time for a change. She packed up her car, and drove across the country to the gorgeous city of Santa Barbara. Although she misses her family dearly, she is proud to now call Santa Barbara home. Tera enjoys spending time outdoors and going to the beach with her wife. They both love writing and are currently working on individual pieces of fiction.
"I find such fulfillment in living in Santa Barbara - a thriving, charming, magical city, with an incredible variety of arts and cuisine."
As the Assistant Guest Relations Manager with Paradise Retreats, she is a perfect fit for this high energy, fast moving company. She is thorough and relaxed in the face of competing priorities. She also understands the importance of innovation, which makes it easy for her to implement systems that make her department more efficient and accurate. Most importantly,Tera knows the importance of building relationships and understanding guests' wants and needs.
"Every time I help a guest, or work on ways to make our company better, I am excited to know my effort is making a difference in every guest's stay at a Paradise Retreats' vacation rental."
Jacqueline Donnelly - Guest Relations
Jacqueline joined the Paradise Retreats team in Spring 2013. "Jax", as she is known by friends and family, is enthusiastic and hard-working, and is adaptable to many roles in the company. She is always willing to do whatever is needed to keep guests happy, and the business running smoothly.
Jacqueline grew up in Oxford, England, where she still frequently visits friends and family. She has traveled extensively and knows the importance of finding that perfect haven in a busy world. Eventually arriving in California, she became an important part of the crew of an 80 ft. vintage schooner; sailing from the Channel Islands, CA to Baja, Mexico for 7 years.
"Being miles from land in a small space with complete strangers for days at a time taught me to expect the unexpected, and to be a creative problem solver. When I became a mother, my skills were honed even further!"
Jax has also been a Merchandising Manager. In this role she traveled to Bali to meet craftsmen, visit studios and purchase exotic furnishings for the showroom. "I have learned to appreciate the stunning pieces of exotic art in some of the beautiful homes managed by Paradise Retreats, which makes me feel as if I have come full-circle."
"I am exactly where I am supposed to be today. I enjoy being part of the wonderful team at Paradise Retreats, and especially love introducing people to the beauty and serenity of Santa Barbara."
Lisa Steele - Guest Relations
Lisa Steele joined Paradise Retreats in the Summer of 2015. Originally from Florida, the phrase "Southern Hospitality" is no stranger to her. She has enjoyed a diverse and varied carrier path as Manager of a construction company, Executive Concierge with a Beach Front Estate Enclave in Southern Florida, Client Relations for a Real Estate Property Services Company, and Rental Associate for Beach Vacation Rentals.
Lisa has vast experience with customer service, while being well-traveled as well. Lisa states she has not found more beautiful and enchanting surroundings than here in Santa Barbara.
Lisa's current role in Guest Relations is one that she is passionate about. It affords her the opportunity to interface with clients from around the world, sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for the Santa Barbara lifestyle.
"Though I am fairly new to the area, I feel I have gained a wealth of knowledge of local eateries, day trip destinations, and cultural events in our area. Life at home revolves around my family and hanging out with our "Golden-doodle", which keeps me busy at the beach and our beautiful parks!"
Jean Sargeant - Reservation Specialist
Jean has been working with Paradise Retreats since 2006, and has played an integral part in building Paradise Retreats to what it is today.
Jean presently works as an off-site Reservation Specialist, which she enjoys very much. With prior careers in Interior Design and Real Estate, Jean understands fine quality and the importance of impeccable service. Her strong work ethic makes her a valuable part of the Paradise Retreat team. Jean's effectiveness is based on her kind demeanor, which she successfully combines with "no-nonsense" business skills.
While at home in Palm Springs, Jean enjoys hiking, golf, music and theater performances. She and her husband participate in the many wonderful cultural and artistic events in their community.
In Jean's words, "It is with a feeling of great pride and pleasure that I have the opportunity to work with the professional staff of Paradise Retreats. I am happy to be an integral part of the growth of this truly "World Class" company."
Carol Broderick - Reservation Specialist
Carol has worked for Paradise Retreats since February 2011. Born and educated in England, she now resides in Northern California. Carol worked previously in the advertising industry, and now enjoys her current position working remotely as one of the off-site Reservation Specialists; answering inquiries and booking reservations.
Carol and her husband Matt have raised two daughters who are attending college in San Francisco. In her off-duty hours, Carol enjoys a live comedy show, planning her next trip, curling up with a good book, and working in her beloved garden. Carol, or "CG" as her friends and co-workers know her, is blessed with a great sense of humor and quick wit.
"Paradise Retreats is a great fit for me as I love people, beautiful homes and the Santa Barbara area."
Carol has been a great asset to Paradise Retreats as a trustworthy, enthusiastic and dedicated team member to have on the front lines, assisting guests with their vacation plans. She is a true team player when it comes to her responsibilities with Paradise Retreats and enjoys working closely with other staff to get the job done!
Julie Holt - Reservation Specialist
Julie has worked as an off-site Reservation Specialist for Paradise Retreats since June of 2014. Born and raised in New Jersey, it was her love of nature and adventure that sparked her to move to Honolulu, Hawaii in 2009.
Julie's career has spanned the field of Hospitality. She has experience in Front Office Management, Human Resources, Billing, and has even lived and worked aboard a cruise ship!
These varied positions have given Julie the experience necessary to understand Guests' needs, and the confidence to solve any challenge. Her attention to detail, and enthusiasm for her job, ensure a great experience for every guest.
Julie spends her personal time enjoying standup paddleboarding, kayaking, scuba diving, swimming, fishing, and anything that involves the ocean! As an avid camper, she and her husband make frequent visits to the outer Hawaiian islands to camp and explore. Julie also enjoys creating custom jewelry.
"My favorite part of working for Paradise Retreats is the opportunity to be a part of someone's excitement for their upcoming travels. The process of finding the perfect home for their family and friends is not only fun for the Guest, but for me as well!"
Maria Murphy - Reservation Specialist
Maria happily joined the Paradise Team in April of 2015. As a quick learner with a strong committment to excellence, she brings a "can-do" attitude to work each day, and has become a vital and necessary part of the Reservation staff.
Maria loves working from her home in Sonoma County, as she deftly balances family, cooking, and attending her youngest daughter's volleyball games. She continues to enjoy her "other job" and keeps a smaller but loyal clientele as a hair stylist. Maria and her husband have three children, a dog, a cat, and a very quiet turtle. She is very proud of her Sicilian heritage and has extensive family ties in Southern California – so she knows the area well.
Working for Paradise Retreats has proven to be a perfect match for Maria's work ethic and outgoing personality:
"I've always enjoyed helping people and traveling. So, every day at Paradise Retreats, I get to combine those two elements to give our customers the best possible stay at our wonderful homes. Being part of the Paradise Retreats 'family' makes this an even better experience."
Lisa Shenton - Reservation Specialist
Lisa has worked as an off-site Guest Relations Specialist for Paradise Retreats
since March of 2013. Though a native Californian, she has lived in New England
for over 28 years and currently resides on the beautiful coast of Maine.
Her career has spanned the fields of graphic design, interior design, and
horticulture, all of which have helped to cultivate a consummate attention to
detail and awareness of customer needs. She is fluent in French and conversationally proficient in Spanish. Her impeccable attention to detail
provides the necessary foundation to work with the intricacies of the
reservation process, and her friendly charm assures a great experience for every guest.
Lisa spends much of her time reading, gardening, caring for her pets, and enjoying the natural beauty of Maine. As an avid traveler, she has spent much of her life exploring the world with her husband, John, and their three sons.
"My favorite part of working for Paradise Retreats is the opportunity to
interact with such a wide variety of people. Guests come from all over the world to experience our beautiful homes in Santa Barbara, and helping them make their trip memorable never fails to put a smile on my face!"
Support Team - Property Services
Edwin Jack "EJ" Markiewicz - Assistant Property Services Manager
Known to his friends and associates as "EJ", Edwin has been with Paradise Retreats since June 2014.
As Property Services Assistant Manager, he has easily adapted to his role in this fast-paced department. EJ has become a valuable part of the team, with an excellent work ethic and a desire to grow and learn as the company expands.
His experience as a Facilities Manager at a local solar company, and with a hospitality background from The Golf and Racquet Country Club at Eastpointe in Florida, EJ brings together two key elements of success in Property Services: the timely resolution of property issues, and a strong commitment to customer service.
"Upholding the 'World Class' standards to which Paradise Retreats strives is something I am truly passionate about. Together with a strong and supportive team, I am able to provide the best possible service to our Guests and our Property Owners."
EJ cares about his community, and has volunteered for events on Montecito Beautification Day and for the American Heart Association. In his spare time, his activities revolve around his love of football and nearly all other sports. As a very proud native of Philadelphia, EJ admits, "I can also make a pretty mean Philly Cheesesteak sandwich!"